Crow pose is one of the first arm balances introduced in yoga classes and as a yoga teacher, one of the poses that I am asked the most about how to execute. In order to do this pose, you not only need upper-body strength, but you also need core strength and to let go of the fear of lifting the feet off of the floor. Crow pose has a lot to do with strength, but it also has a lot to do with believing that you can do it. Whether you try this pose once or a hundred times, keep believing that you can and you will eventually lift off into crow pose.
When you first start trying this pose, try putting a blanket in front of your mat as a “landing pad.” This will help you to not worry as much about falling forward.
From a high plank position, lower slowly halfway down and keep the elbows drawn in toward the ribs. You don’t have to come halfway down at first, just enough to create some resistance in the arms. You will most likely feel this in the triceps.
If you feel unstable, you can do this posture by lowering to your knees. Try to hold for at least one exhale, or even a full breath. From here either come back up to plank, or breathe into upward-facing dog to counter-stretch your abdominals. Repeat up to 10 more times and be patient with yourself as you build strength.
From standing, walk the feet out about as wide as your mat; toes may turn out slightly. Bend the knees letting the hips sink down to a low squat. Draw your palms to heart center. Press down through the outer edges of the feet. Hold for 30 seconds to one minute to open up the hips.
3. Boat Pose
From seated, bring your knees together and lift your calves until they are parallel to the ground, leaning the upper body back slightly. Reach your arms forward, and keep your gaze at your toes. If you want to increase the intensity of this pose, straighten your legs. Hold for 10 to 20 breaths to gain the core strength needed to lift into your crow pose.
4. Reclined Crow Pose
Lie down flat on the back; bend your elbows, simulating the same movement you would if you were doing chaturanga. Once you have your arms set, draw the knees into the chest, and hook your right knee under your right tricep and your left knee under your left tricep. Point the toes away from you, drawing your big toe mounds to touch. Lift the head slightly away from the earth. Hold here for 20 to 30 seconds, creating your crow pose on the back in order to get the body used to the shape of crow pose before coming into the full pose.
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